Joint statement on Jayland Walker case

We are deeply saddened by the tragic shooting of Jayland Walker and troubled by the circumstances surrounding his death at the hands of Akron police officers. As the region’s foremost youth-serving organization, we fear incidents like this one and others will once again leave lasting scars on our youth. These cases give children the impression that violence against Black people is inevitable. That needs to change. It is our responsibility to help young people make sense out of the world, even when violence and injustice is rampant.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance commend the City of Akron for publicly addressing the shooting today and for its decision to cancel the July Fourth event. We also respect and concur with those who are urging protests to be peaceful. At the same time, we will hold Mayor Dan Horrigan and Police Chief Steve Mylett accountable for their confidence that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will conduct “a thorough, fair and honest investigation” and that Akron police will cooperate fully. Let this investigation play out and uncover the facts in this case. In the end, justice must be served for the family of Jayland Walker, the Akron community and the children who are watching this unfold.

Jeff Scott, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio

Myesha Watkins, Executive Director, Cleveland Peacemakers Alliance